The Government of India is working to develop inland waterways as an alternative mode of transport in the country, which is cleaner and cheaper than both road and rail transport. There are 111 National Waterways in the country today, after 106 waterways were declared as National Waterways, adding to the list of 5 existing NW, in 2016.
The Environment is the greatest gift of God to Man. It is derived from the term ‘environ’ which means encircle that comprises of biotic (living things) and abiotic (non-living things).
Earth is the blue planet of the universe and third planet from the Sun. It is fifth largest planet in the solar system and just slightly larger than nearby Venus, Earth is the biggest of the terrestrial planets.
The name Earth is at least 1,000 years old. All of the planets, except for Earth, were named after Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses. However, the name Earth is an English or German word, which simply means the Ground.
Formation of the Earth:
When the solar system settled into its current layout about 4.5 billion years ago, Earth formed when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to become the third planet from the Sun. Like its fellow terrestrial planets, Earth has a central core, a rocky mantle and a solid crust.
Structure of the Earth:
Earth is composed of four main layers. They are:
- Inner core
- Outer Core
The inner core is a solid sphere made of iron and nickel metals about 1,221km in radius. There the temperature is as high as 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit (5,400 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the inner core is the outer core. This layer is about 2,300 km thick, made of iron and nickel fluids.
In between the outer core and crust is the mantle, the thickest layer. This hot, viscous mixture of molten rock is about 2,900 km thick and has the consistency of caramel. The outermost layer of Earth is crust and it is about 30 km deep on average on land.
Note: – At the bottom of the ocean, the crust is thinner and extends about 5km from the sea floor to the top of the mantle.
Atmosphere of the Earth:
The atmosphere of the Earth consists of 78% of Nitrogen, 21% of Oxygen, and 1% of other gases such as Argon, Carbon dioxide and Neon. The atmosphere affects Earth’s long-term climate and short-term local weather that shields us from much of the harmful radiation coming from the Sun. It also protects us from meteoroids, most of which burn up in the atmosphere, seen as meteors in the night sky, before they can strike the surface as meteorites.
Interior feature of the Earth:
Now, we will discuss the interior feature of the Earth. But, we know little directly about the interior of the earth. Therefore, I elaborated the two important concepts to deal with the interior of the Earth below. They are:
- Seismic Waves:
The seismic waves, which are vibrations in the body of the earth, provided the information regarding the interior features of the earth. Most of our information about the surface and interior of the Earth has come from the seismic waves.
There are two general categories of seismic waves. They are:
- P-Waves: These Waves are longitudinal pressure waves and can propagate in both solids and liquids.
- S-Waves: These Waves are transverse waves that can propagate in solids but not in liquids.
Here is an illustration of the difference between P-Waves and S-Waves. These seismic waves, which are generated naturally by earthquakes, by volcanoes, and by impacts, and may be produced artificially by explosions and mechanical devices, tell us about the interior in several general ways. The figure on the right illustrates for a planet with varying interior density and a liquid core.
First, seismic waves have their direction of motion changed (refracted) by variations in the interior density. Thus, by studying the way such waves propagate in the Earth we can learn something about density variations. Second, the fact that P-Waves propagate in liquids but S-Waves do not allows us to determine if portions of the interior are liquid.
- Geological Differentiation:
According to this concept, the Earth, which is seen as its present interior structure is made through the geological process which is called as differentiation. It is illustrated in the following figure.
The process of geological differentiation:
Within about 1 billion years of its formation, the Earth was melted by heat arising from a combination of sources:
- Gravitational energy left from the formation of the planet
- Meteor bombardment
- Decay of radioactive material trapped in the body of the Earth
While the Earth was molten, gravity acted to concentrate more dense material near the center and less dense material nearer the surface. When the Earth solidified again (except for the liquid outer core) it was left with a layered structure with more dense material like iron and nickel near the center and less dense rocks nearer the surface. As the outer layers cooled and solidified, large cracks developed because of thermal stress, leaving the lithosphere broken up into large blocks or plates.
Hydrosphere of the Earth:
The abundance of water on Earth’s surface is a unique feature that distinguishes the Blue Planet from other planets in the Solar System. Earth’s hydrosphere consists chiefly of the oceans, but technically includes all water surfaces in the world, including inland seas, lakes, rivers, and underground waters. About 97.5% of the water is saline and the remaining 2.5% is freshwater. Most fresh water is present as ice in ice caps and glaciers, which are about 68.7%.
The natural satellite of the Earth is referred to Moon, and it is the fifth largest moon in the solar system. It is brightest and largest object in our night sky, the moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides, creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years. The moon was likely formed after a Mars-sized body collided with Earth.
The most widely accepted theory of the Moon’s origin is the Giant-Impact Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, it formed from the collision of a Mars-size proto-planet called Theia with the early Earth. This hypothesis explains the Moon’s relative lack of iron and volatile elements, and the fact that its composition is nearly identical to that of Earth’s crust.
Size and Distance of the Moon:
With a radius of 1,737.5 km, the moon is less than a third the width of Earth. The moon is an average of 384,400 km away from the Earth. The moon is slowly moving away from Earth, getting about an inch farther away each year.
TIMELINE OVER CAUVERY WATER DISPUTES TRIBUNAL
May 1990: Supreme Court directs Centre to constitute Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, a demand made by Tamil Nadu since 1970.
June 1990: Centre notifies Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).
June 1991: The CWDT announced an interim award: Karnataka ordered to release 205 tmcft. In a move to nullify the interim awards, Karnataka government passes an Ordinance. Supreme Court intervenes, strikes down Karnataka’s ordinance and upholds the interim award of the CWDT. Karnataka refuses to oblige.
September 2002: Cauvery River Authority chaired by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs (0.8 tmcft) of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu unhappy with the order says it will move Supreme Court.
July 2005: Karnataka refuses to implement the distress sharing formula and rules out Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
February 2007: After 16 years, Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal holds as valid the two agreements of 1892 and 1924 executed between the governments of Madras and Mysore on the apportionment of water to Tamil Nadu
September 2012: At the seventh meeting of the CRA, Manmohan Singh directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu. Both the CMs — Jayalalithaa and Jagadish Shettar — term it “unacceptable”. This is the first CRA meet since the UPA came to power at the Centre in 2004.
February 2013: The Centre notifies the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). The Central government was mandated to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) simultaneously with the gazette notification of the final award of the Tribunal dated February 19.
March 10, 2013: The Tamil Nadu chief minister says she will work for the formation of the Cauvery Water Board during a felicitation ceremony organised in Thanjavur for her efforts to get the final award notified in the Union gazette.
March 2013: Tamil Nadu moves the Supreme Court to give directions to the water ministry for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.
May 2013: Tamil Nadu moves Supreme Court, seeking Rs 2,480 crore in damages from Karnataka for not following the orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
June 2013: The Union water resources secretary chairs the first meeting of the supervisory committee in which Tamil Nadu demanded its share of water for June as stipulated in the award.
June 2013: Karnataka says it cannot release 134 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu between June and September.
July 2013: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu clash during the third meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee over the latter’s share of the river water. While Tamil Nadu sought 34 tmcft in July and 50 tmcft in August to save the Samba crop, Karnataka says that it had already released 34 tmcft between June and July 13.
August 2016: Tamil Nadu asks the Supreme Court to direct Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu after Siddaramiah says there is no water in the reservoirs.
September 2016: SC directs Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs a day till Sept 15. Protests break out in Karnataka
A crop that is grown for sale rather than for personal use is called cash crops. In other word, a cash crop is an agricultural crop which is grown for sale to return a profit.
- Cotton is the most important fibre crop of India. It provides the basic raw material (cotton fibre) to cotton textile industry.
- Cotton is a kharif crop which requires 6 to 8 months to mature.
- Cotton is the crop of tropical and sub-tropical areas and requires uniformly high temperature varying between 21°C and 30°C.
- The modest requirement of water can be met by an average annual rainfall of 50- 100 cm. However, it is successfully grown in areas of lesser rainfall with the help of irrigation.
- Black soils of Deccan and Malwa plateau are fertile soil for cotton.
- About 80 per cent of the total irrigated area under cotton is in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan. But the main cotton producing states are Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- Next to cotton, jute is the second important fibre crop of India. India is one of the principle producers of jute in the world.
- It is widely grown in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. Due to best suited soils such as light sandy or clayey loams are found here.
- The major jute producing states of India are West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya.
- Jute requires high temperature varying from 24°C to 35°C and heavy rainfall of 120 to 150 cm with 80 to 90 per cent relative humidity.
- During the period of its growth small amount of pre-monsoon rainfall varying from 25 cm to 55 cm is very useful.
- Sugarcane belongs to bamboo family of plants and is indigenous to South Asia. In India, it is one of the most important Kharif crops.
- Sugarcane cultivation requires a tropical or temperate climate, with a minimum of 60 cm of annual moisture. The ideal temperature for the cultivation of sugarcane is 27°C.
- 100 to 175 cm rainfall is ideal for sugarcane production. In tropical and sub-tropical or regions sugarcane is grown abundantly due to the lengthening of the period of rainy season.
- Loamy fertile soil mixed with salt and lime is good for sugarcane production.
- Plain land or gentle slope is ideal for sugarcane cultivation. Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of sugarcane in India, followed by Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- Almost all states in India grow tobacco, but the important ones are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh
- For tobacco 50-100cm annual rainfall and 15-200C temperature during growth period is ideal.
- After harvesting to dry the leaves it requires bright sunshine & dry weather but not less than containing 8% moisture.
- Different types of soil are required for tobacco. Bidi tobacco is grown as a rainfed crop mostly in alluvial soils, black clayey or loamy soils. Cigar and cheroot tobaccos are cultivated on grey to red soils varying from light gravelly to sandy loams. The chewing tobacco is grown throughout the country under varying conditions of soils.
The term food crops refers to the world’s major food supply derived from plants. A crop assumes human intervention through agriculture. In the main, food crops consist of grains, seeds and nuts, vegetables, fruit, and so forth.
- Rice is predominantly a Kharif or crop. It covers one third of total cultivated area of India. It provides food to more than half of the Indian population.
- The temperature requires for the Rice is 16°C – 27°C and rainfall 100 to 200 cm is ideal for rice growing. But rainfall during harvest times is harmful. Annual coverage temperature around 24°C is ideal.
- Rice is grown well on the alluvial soil or on the fertile river basins. It is also grown in mixed soil or loamy and clayey soil.
- Plain lands or gentle slopes are suitable for the production of rice. Therefore, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh are the main rice producing states of India.
- West Bengal is the largest producer but Punjab is the largest producer of rice per hectare.
- Wheat is the second most important crop of India after Rice. It’s a Rabi Crop.
- It is a winter crop and needs low temperature. Ideal temperature for wheat cultivation is between 10-15°C at the time of sowing and 21-26°C at the time of harvesting.
- Wheat thrives well in the rainfall varies from less 75 to 100 cm.
- The most suitable soil for cultivation of wheat is well drained fertile loamy soil and clayey soil. Plain areas are most suitable.
- Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of wheat following by Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
- Among the different kinds of cereal crops in India, Jowar occupies a major prominence. Besides being a staple diet for the poorer section of the society, it is also used for animal feed and industrial raw materials.
- Basically jowar is a tropical crop. It thrives well at a temperature between 25°C and 32°C but below 16°C is not good for the crop. Jowar crop requires rainfall about 40 cm annually.
- Jowar is extreme drought tolerant crop and recommended for dry regions. Too much of moist and prolonged dry conditions are not suitable for jowar cultivation.
- Jowar crop adapts wide range of soils but grows well in sandy loam soils having good drainage. Soil pH range of 6 to 7.5 is ideal for its cultivation and better growth.
- Major Jowar producing states in India are: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
- It is popularly known as pearl millet. It is grown in the largest number in India. For poor people, this form of millet is supposedly the staple diet.
- The crop has a wide adaptability as it may grow under different day lengths, temperature and moisture stress. It requires low annual rainfall ranging between 40-50 cm and dry weather.
- Light soils of low inherent fertility good drainage, mild salinity are best type for this crop.
- Tamil Nadu is the highest producer of this staple crop and this is followed by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
Plantation crops constitute a large group of crops. The major plantation crops include coconut, nut, oil palm, cashew, tea, coffee and rubber.
- India is the largest producer and consumer of black tea in the world. Tea is grown in 16 states in India. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala account for about 95 per cent of total tea production.
- Temperature varies from 21°C to 29°C is ideal for the production of tea. High temperature is required in summer. The lowest temperature for the growth of tea is 16°C.
- 150-250 cm of rainfall is required for tea cultivation.
- Tea shrubs require fertile mountain soil mixed with lime and iron. The soil should be rich in humus.
- Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant.
- Initially, the coffee plantation was limited to Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but now it has gradually reached Andhra and Odisha.
- The ideal temperature is 18 to 280 It is very sensitive to cold and frost.
- Rainfall must be varied from 125 to 250 cm.
- Loamy soil with humus content, well drained hill slopes between 450 m to 1800 m altitude are suitable.
- Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri Hills, Cardamon Hills, Anamalai Hills are the areas of growing.
- Basically rubber is an elastic solid material retrieved from latex of many tropical trees. However, “Hevea brasiliensis” is the most commercially cultivated rubber plant
- The rubber plantation requires heavy and well distributed rainfall of 200 cm to 300 cm having humidity about 75%.
- The best growing temperatures for rubber plant is from 20°C to 35°C. Freezing temperatures will halt the growth of rubber plants and strong plant is from 20°C to 35°C. Freezing temperatures will halt the growth of rubber plants and strong wind areas are not suitable for rubber farming.
- This plantation requires at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight Rubber Plants require highly deep weathered soils which consist of Laterite and lateritic soils. They grow best in well drained porous soils with moderate acidic in nature. However, rubber plant also thrives in red alluvial soils, if there is a good organic matter in the soil.
- Mainly, it is grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
India is one of the 17 mega diverse countries of the world. With only 2.4% of the world’s land area, 16.7% of the world’s human population and 18% livestock, it contributes about 8% of the known global biodiversity, however, putting enormous demands on our natural resources. India is home to world’s largest wild tigers population and has got unique assemblage of globally important endangered species like Asiatic lion, Asian Elephant, One-horned Rhinoceros, Gangetic River Dolphin, Snow Leopard, Kashmir Stag, Dugong, Gharial, Great Indian Bustard, Lion Tailed Macaque etc.
India has a staggering variety of flora and fauna, including some of the rarest species in existence on the planet. There is so far a paucity of information for the general public on the status, biology, and major threats to the endangered species of our country. As per the latest quantitative evaluation done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) there are 57 critically endangered species of animals in India.
The general meaning of environment is ‘the surroundings about us’. There are three components of environment:
(i) Physical (abiotic) Component-Land, water, air and the related semi-components are included in it.
(ii) Biotic Component-Plants and animals are included in it. Man is an important part of it.
(iii) Energy Component-The sun is the main source of energy on the earth. So, it is also a part of our environment. Besides it, geothermal energy, tidal energy, wind energy etc. are also included in it.
Man is such a living being who gets affected by the environment as well as affects the environment the most. If we see the historical development order of geography, we find that in the beginning, the geographers had considered the environment stronger than man (Determinism). However, the scientific and technical development made man not only stronger but egoist also. Now he began to feel that Nature is under his control and he can give a fillip to development in the way he likes-the limits of development are infinite for man (Possibilism). Keeping this concept in view, man exploited Nature ruthlessly, the bad results of which began to come out immediately. And then, the geographers propounded the hypothesis of Neo-Determinism.